Milton Bradley's Losing Friends
A few stories have popped up since I wrote the last one, so let me update.
"I told him to take his uniform off," Lou said. "He threw his helmet
and smashed a water cooler, water flying all over. I just told him to
take his uniform off and go home. I followed him up into the clubhouse,
and we exchanged some words."
Lou added that he had seen enough and that he'd talk more with Milton tomorrow.
Apparently, the Cubs feel that Bradley is acting selfishly. GM Jim
Hendry talked with us in the runway after the game and said he wanted
players to be "all in."
I pressed him on that, and he said that "all in" means all for the
team. Some of Bradley's teammates also are beginning to wonder.
Alright, so we know for sure Lou sent him home. The "acting selfishly" perked up my ears though and that teammates are beginning to wonder. That led me to this gem from Alfonso Soriano courtesy of Muskat.
Alfonso Soriano said he'd never seen a player and manager fight the way Piniella and Bradley did.
"I hope he comes back and he can help the team to win," Soriano said
of Bradley. "If he's not that way, we don't need him. We have 25
players, we have to be on the same page. If he's not 100 percent to
help the team to win, we don't need him. If he's 100 percent and he
comes and wants to play, he's more than welcome."
Hey pot, meet the kettle. Let's start with Soriano refusing to move to left field a few years back for the Nationals before finally relenting... a real team player moment. Next there's Soriano's loose insistence on batting leadoff. Oh sure, he's stated in public he doesn't care where he bats as long as he stays in the same place but there's certainly some resistance on Soriano's part to get moved. If he was 100% on helping the team win, he'd stop trying to hit a home run every at-bat and would have asked long ago to get dropped to the bottom of the order to stop taking precious at-bats while he swings at everything that's pitched to him. There's also the part where he's worked on his defense so much that he's making Adam Dunn look like a good idea.
Moving back to Bradley, Lou's press conference highlights via Cubs.com can be seen here. Piniella indicates it's been a "common occurrence", although it's not clear whether he's suggesting it's common with just Bradley or the entire team, but it seems more like it's directed right at Bradley and he's been throwing these fits for awhile (most likely down in the clubhouse away from the cameras).
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.